European cities are world leaders on climate action. They are constantly striving to reduce emissions and adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change. Cities are also working hard to use the opportunities that climate action offers, for example in job creation and improving quality of life. These good practices showcase some of the initiatives happening in EUROCITIES member cities, from promoting cleaner transport to finding new ways to heat households and reduce fuel poverty.
'Green jobs for social inclusion' - collection of good practices
Collection of good practices highlights how cities are promoting employment and social inclusion in the green sector for vulnerable groups, such as young people and the long term unemployed.
Amaroussion is one of Greece’s leading cities when it comes to energy sustainability. It was the first Greek city to introduce an integrated public transport system, and one of the first to introduce green criteria in its procurement processes. It is also improving the energy performance of municipal buildings and acting as a role model for citizens.
Amsterdam’s Climate & Energy Office works to ensure that the city can achieve its goals of cutting CO2 emissions by 40% by 2025 and 75% by 2040 compared to 1990 levels.
‘Zoom in on your roof’ uses a thermographic satellite map of the city to highlight the importance of household energy efficiency and roof insulation to Antwerp’s residents.
Birmingham aims to cut its total CO2 emissions by 60% a year by 2027, as covered in the Carbon Roadmap published by Birmingham’s Green Commission. It is essential that new developments are as low carbon as possible and this document will help to ensure this.
Bristol launched Green AddICT to encourage organisations to address their carbon footprints through green ICT measures.
Bristol has created an online toolkit enabling cities around the world to understand and apply the lessons it has learned in becoming a more sustainable city. With guidance on everything from creating a vision to measuring success, The Bristol Method represents a valuable legacy of the city’s year as European Green Capital.
Back in 2009, Burgas launched an ambitious project to develop an integrated transport system to accommodate the local population and the many tourists visiting the region. The project is expected to completely transform the existing transport system and significantly improve the transport services available.
Grouping consumers together to negotiate with energy suppliers can provide great savings to local communities. Cardiff is leading a scheme that allows households in Wales to group together and approach energy suppliers in search of a better deal.
With 35% of commuters in Copenhagen already choosing to travel by bike, the city decided to collaborate with 21 neighbouring municipalities and the Capital Region of Denmark to develop a network of cycle super highways to encourage even more residents to cycle to work.
Dortmund has responded to Germany's energy revolution by implementing a city-wide plan that has achieved far more than acceptance of the need for change. It has also inspired participants to generate fresh and relevant ideas for energy systems and savings.
The Auld but not Reekie initiative aims to reduce pollution from energy use on Edinburgh’s public bus network, including deploying a new fleet of hybrid buses.
The Edinburgh Sustainable Development Partnership (ESDP) provides the city and its stakeholders with strategic, cross sector leadership on sustainable development, including energy sustainability.
Edinburgh has taken its commitment to being a green city to the next level. By mobilising support and coordinating action, Edinburgh in Bloom is setting a new standard for conserving and enhancing historic and natural environments in imaginative and sustainable ways. This project won the EUROCITIES 2015 award for participation.
Eindhoven is aiming to become energy neutral by 2045. To achieve this ambitious goal, it is facilitating, motivating and inspiring citizens to invest in local renewable energy production.
The ‘Zonatlas’ (SolarMap) is a web application offering home or building owners information about the electrical and financial benefits of installing photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on their roofs.
Frankfurt is Germany’s fifth largest city, a major business centre and transport hub. The city uses the highest proportion of renewable energy in the country, is a public transport pioneer and has a large quantity of passive housing and certified green buildings.
Gateshead Council is one of the UK’s designated Warm Zones, which help combat fuel poverty by identifying households in need and providing them with coordinated and cost-effective support.
Rising energy costs, reducing emissions, greater energy security and fuel poverty were just some of the reasons Gateshead decided to implement a district energy scheme.
Gdynia, the most energy-efficient city in Poland, offers a great example of how a city can enhance the life of its citizens on small municipal spending. Strategies are based on adaptation and reuse of what is already there, turning waste into energy and retrofitting old diesel buses to run on bio-fuel by 2030.
Genoa was one of the first European cities to submit a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) under the Covenant of Mayors. It aims to cut a large part of its CO2 emissions through local renewable energy production, cogeneration, and district heating and cooling.
Genoa opened its Palazzo Verde (Green Palace) in 2012, an environmental information and education centre designed to encourage citizens to adopt a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
Ghent aims to become a climate neutral city by 2050. Together with citizens, local businesses and educational institutions, Ghent Climate Alliance uses awareness-raising activities, knowledge exchanges, new tools and incentives to promote greener living.
Gijon is a pioneer when it comes to alternative transport modes. It is the first public authority in Spain to introduce a car sharing system for its municipal vehicle fleet.
Gijon’s triple helix model is the result of a successful collaboration between three important innovation actors: government, industry and research institutions.
Gothenburg is using alternative fuels as a means of reducing CO2 emissions without compromising on mobility. Using biogas produced from a sewage water treatment plant, emissions in the city have dropped significantly.
In Helsinki, 93% of buildings are connected to the district heating system, while district cooling is also becoming a growing business in the city. Finland has been a leader in cogeneration of heat and power for many years.
REECH is a public private pilot project to test green retrofitting in Liverpool city region housing. It aims to cut CO₂ emissions, reduce fuel poverty, enhance wellbeing, and provide training and jobs.
Malaga improved the energy performance of a social housing complex in one of its most deprived neighbourhoods by getting residents on board from the very beginning.
The Climate Living in Cities Concept (CLICC) is targeting household carbon emissions by refurbishing three post-war housing compounds – 1200 households - and carrying out awareness-raising activities.
Malmo is building the sustainable district of the future, incorporating smart energy grids, energy efficient buildings and green transport. It will comprise nearly 9,000 new homes and offices and will cover over 200 hectares.
A ‘construction dialogue’ takes part between participating building companies and relevant municipal departments when larger developments are being carried out. Participants meet regularly to discuss and develop common standards and targets.
Mannheim launched the ‘building for the future’ category in its environment awards in 2013. The aim was to recognise the contribution of the local building industry to sustainability and to promote more energy efficient construction.
‘Area C’ is Milan’s congestion charge zone, covering 8.2km² of the city centre with 77,000 inhabitants. The zone aims to ease congestion, reduce pollution and promote sustainable mobility.
Milan aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption from its building stock. To do so, it is making use of EU financial and technical support and is experimenting with innovative funding tools.
A groundbreaking mobility strategy is enabling Milan, which has one of the highest car ownership rates in Europe, rise to its congestion challenge. Innovative integrated sharing schemes mean fewer cars on the road and better quality of life for all. This project won the EUROCITIES award for innovation in 2015.
When the Nantes shipyards closed, they left behind not only physical scars but a strong impact on the local community. The city’s regeneration plan is transforming the industrial area into a sustainable living, working and leisure environment.
As the first French city to reintroduce trams in 1985, Nantes Metropole has long been a sustainable mobility pioneer. Key to the city’s success in this field is its integrated mobility department that brings together all mobility services.
With 60% of emissions in Oslo coming from the transport sector, encouraging people to use electric vehicles (EVs) has the potential to make a real difference to the city’s air quality and the urban environment.
Sofia is taking steps to reduce its energy consumption despite a reduced municipal budget. The various measures will help protect citizens’ health and quality of life, and improve purchasing power.
‘Royal Seaport’ is part of Stockholm’s vision as a leading green city. The development is converting industrial brownfield close to the city centre into a ‘climate positive’ living, working and social space by 2030.
Stockholm’s Vision 2030 envisages a world class sustainable city. The transport system would help create jobs and housing, and would offer citizens better public transport and cycling routes, while the city plan would introduce a ‘walkable city’ concept.
Stockholm’s vision for 2030, ‘A world‐class Stockholm’, was adopted by the city council in 2007. The targets are: a fossil‐free Stockholm by 2050, reduced energy use, electricity and biogas driven public transport and a CO2‐neutral transport system.
Sunderland City Council cooperates with four other local authorities on the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan (LTP). The LTP aims to increase usage of public transport and promote sustainable travel through campaigns.
On 1 January 2013, Tallinn became the largest European city and first European capital city to provide free public transport to all its residents. The city hopes that this move will help reduce pollution and congestion as well as alleviating financial pressures on low-income residents.
Tampere is investing in cogeneration, energy efficient buildings and integrated data in order to achieve its 205 carbon neutrality goals. Now citizens and businesses are joining in.
Tampere aims to become one of the word’s leading climate‐conscious cities. It has set ambitious targets to cut its CO2 emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2025, and to become CO2‐neutral by 2050.
Tampere established the ECO2 – Eco‐efficient Tampere 2020 - project in spring 2010. The city had just joined the Covenant of Mayors and needed a new operational structure in which to deliver its strategic climate and energy objectives and commitments.
Tampere, Finland, aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 by investing in co-generation, high efficiency standards in buildings and integrated data for transport. Investments in district heating have led to a decrease of total CO2 emissions by 15% since 1990.
Terrassa’s Mobility Forum connects sustainable mobility stakeholders with the city authority. It advises the city administration on shaping new, local, sustainable mobility strategies and policies.
Terrassa’s sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP) aimed to reduce the environmental impact of transport, decrease traffic noise and comply with Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
The Hague is harnessing the commitment, time and skills of citizens to help achieve its goal of becoming climate neutral by 2040. Practical support and grants for cooperative action at grassroots level are turning good ideas into reality across the city.
Public and private investors have joined forces in Venice to convert the former industrial area of Certosa Island into a low carbon urban park.
As a city vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels, Venice urgently needed to strengthen its energy management skills. It set up the Venice Energy Agency (AGIRE) in 2002 together with municipal service companies through the European Commission’s SAVE II programme.
Vienna’s ‘greening facades and roofs’ initiative shows that planting on urban surfaces helps regulate the temperature inside houses, as well as improve the overall CO2 balance of a city.
An innovative interactive energy map lets Vilnius’s citizens access and compare energy performance data for every apartment block in the city, online.
Warsaw’s housing sector currently accounts for 65% of total heat consumption in the city. By making both public and private buildings more energy efficient, this could be significantly reduced.
As part of its ongoing commitment to reduce carbon emissions, Warsaw turned to cogeneration to supply the city with heat and power.
Transport plays an instrumental role in Warsaw’s green growth vision. The city is continuing to build a high quality transport system to facilitate the movement of people and goods, improve quality of life for citizens and minimise environmental impact.
Warsaw’s E-Mobil Cluster is a platform for cooperation between 18 mobility stakeholders operating in the area: local administration, science and research institutes, industries and companies. It promotes sustainable and e-mobility in the Warsaw metropolitan area.